How the West Orange Chamber of Commerce is adapting to fulfill the needs of its members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mother’s Day 2020 will be unlike any Mother’s Day ever celebrated. Even though it will be different, the overall expression of love and appreciation will still shine through. I know two of my sons won’t be able to be with me due to social distancing and real hugs will be replaced by air hugs on virtual calls, but my sons know that I’ll be here for them, no matter what. That’s what mothers do!
I also know that the worries, fears and anxieties a mother has for her children, no matter their age, pales in comparison to those we’re currently experiencing for our entire community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No one could have imagined the turmoil that would be created in such a short amount of time to our world, a booming economy to one struggling. Undoubtedly, there is reason for worry, fear and anxiety, yet we cannot let these feelings paralyze us.
We will move forward by leaning on one another, learning from one another and adapting to a new, and I hope better, world. The chamber, just like many small businesses, especially service businesses, has had to adapt and reinvent itself. We have leaned on and learned from others within our industry and shared what we’ve learned with our members.
As each day brought more and more awareness to the severity and time frame of this pandemic, the chamber quickly realized that we had to perform our role even faster and in different ways. We were easily able to demonstrate the resources at our finger tips, connections, ingenuity and speed of action that our chamber has in times like this, and honestly, every day. We utilized the information we were able to gather from our local, state and federal governments and the U.S. and Florida Chambers, to create programming for our members to assist them as they navigate these uncertain times.
Some of the activities that we couldn’t have envisioned as a virtual event a month ago now seem almost matter of fact. Virtual has become a new way of life and turned out to be a popular means to deliver valuable information to a large number of our members and others. We now have virtual Spotlight Speakers, virtual Lead and Feed events, “Call, Listen and Learn” events and our first-ever virtual board meeting. We will even host a Business Happy Hour, rather than a Business After Hours, on May 14.
To see all the events and the COVID-19 Resource page, visit wochamber.com. Working together as an entire community, much like a family, is how we will get through this. Staying healthy is the first priority and the rest will follow.